Barbara has successfully introduced a Bill into the House of Commons which aims to exempt unpaid family carers and those needing overnight care from the Bedroom Tax.
Figures from the Department of Work and Pensions show that at least 60,000 carers are affected by the Bedroom Tax. This figure only includes those people in receipt of a Carers Allowance or those with an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance. Other carers who work part-time are also affected by Bedroom Tax.
The Government’s policy objectives for the Bedroom Tax make it illogical as well as unfair when applied to carers. One of the objectives was to “improve work-incentives for working-age claimants”, meaning that people could move into work or try to work more hours to pay the Bedroom Tax. However, many unpaid family carers have had to cut back their hours or give up work to enable them to care.
The Bill is now listed for Second Reading on 21st November, alongside other Private Members Bills.
“The failure to exempt carers from the Bedroom Tax shows the Coalition Government’s complete disregard for fairness.
"The 60,000 carers affected include many of those with the heaviest caring workload. They are already caring for 35 hours a week or more and to expect them to work extra hours to pay the Bedroom Tax is completely unrealistic.
"Many carers have had to give up well-paid jobs to care for their loved ones and expecting them to find the cash to pay the Bedroom Tax as well is an insult to these hardworking family carers. The Bedroom Tax puts an additional financial burden on carers and does not take into account why the health and care needs of the person cared for may result in the need for an additional bedroom.
"My Bill is a simple, common-sense measure to protect carers from the impact of this unfair policy. We owe it to carers to remove this financial burden, which should never have been imposed on them.”